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Dude, Where's My Tank?


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Guardsman Peters sat at a chair opposite a glowing, flickering bank of monitors, watching as cameras? views swung back and forth, covering the Tagmatine military complex, and yawned. It was, for all the fact that it was a top secret research facility, an utterly boring job. Nothing ever happened, given the fact that in films and computer games there was always some sort of sinister activity going on in these places. He looked at his watch. 01:04, it said. He picked up his cup of tea, snarling to himself as he realised it was cold.

 

And then the monitors flashed off. Peters cursed. The base was powered by Tagmatium?s first nuclear power station, and the inexperienced crews were always causing blackouts. All the Guardsman could do was wait until the back-up system kicked in, which only took a minute or two. There was the sound of a flushing toilet, and Peters? fellow security guard walked in.

 

?What happened??

 

Peters looked up at him. ?The same as bloody usual. Those damned inept technicians have shut the power off again.?

 

The man sighed. ?They can never get that damn thing right.?

 

Peters shook his head, and the room was lit up again as the monitors blinked on again. He grinned and span his chair around.

 

?There we go. Jesus Christ!?

 

He looked down the barrel of a pistol. Three shots rang out, the muzzle flash adding a different tinge to the green flare of the screens.


Inspector Ioannes knew that the military was not happy with having civilian police on the base. But, under Imperial law if a murder was committed anywhere on Imperial soil, even in a military research complex, the police had to be involved. He and his officers had had to sign the Official Secrets Act, but that didn?t faze him. What did, however, was the stony silence he was getting from the majority of soldiers he questioned. He looked across at what felt like the fiftieth interviewee that morning, and ask the same question, knowing full well what the answer would be.

 

?So. He was alone in the room, was he? And it?s standard procedure to have one of these rooms manned by two men at all times??

 

The soldier nodded, and Ioannes and his sergeant exchanged glances.

 

?Ok, you can go.?

 

The soldier left the room, and the sergeant closed the door behind him.

 

?I just don?t bloody get it.? the Inspector exclaimed as he filled his pipe. ?How can a man shoot himself three times in the chest with a pistol??

 

?No idea, sir.?

 

Ioannes ran his hand through his thinning hair and lit his pipe. ?What do they want us to do, have it called suicide, or something? You and I both know that it?s almost impossible for such a thing to happen.?

 

The policeman nodded, but didn't offer an explanation to the mystery.

 

Yet another soldier, a burly man with blonde hair, walked into the room the police were using as a makeshift interview room. Ioannes nearly swore at the guardsman. He'd had enough of the uncommunicative soldiers for a life-time.

 

?Sir, the base commander would like to see you?.

 

The inspector got up from his chair, cast a questioning glance at his sergeant, who shrugged, and followed the guardsman out.


The office of the base commander was a surprisingly rich-looking place, with oak panelling on the walls, a thick red carpet on the floor and a large, oak desk with a green leather top. Dotted along the shelves and on the desk were trophies from several old wars, although the commander himself was in his thirties.

 

?So, Inspector Ioannes, isn?t it? Let me cut to the chase. How much would it cost me for you to say Guardsman Peters' "accident" was a suicide??

 

Ioannes nearly bit through his pipe. He?d only been sat in the office for a few minutes before Colonel Alexander Kontarian, of the aristocratic military family, as he introduced himself, had said this. ?What!? Christ Almighty! You?re not suggesting what I think you are, right??

 

?I?m afraid I am.? Answered the colonel. ?It would be most? unfortunate for the Greater Holy Empire and, indeed, yourself, if you turned down this offer. So? HS500,000? Would that do? See the children through university and give you a tidy sum for retirement.?

 

The chair opposite the Colonel?s thumped back as the Inspector stood up. ?I?m afraid, Colonel, that I must decline. I?m also going to report this to my, and your, superiors. Good day.?

 

The Inspector almost ran out of the office and back into the room where his junior officer was.

 

?We?re leaving.? He said as he picked up overcoat from the back of a chair.

 

The policeman looked shocked. ?What, right now??

 

?Right now.?

 

If Ioannes had not been so angry as he stormed out and along the corridor, he?d have noticed his sergeant poking a slip of paper into an inside pocket.

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The soldier who had shown Ioannes into the commander?s office opened the door after the inspector had walked out. Colonel Kontarian was pouring himself a glass of wine from a crystal decanter sitting on a sideboard on against the far wall. On the sideboard was also a sword, a relic from the Long War.

 

?That damned copper. He?ll bugger up everything", said the colonel not looking up from the wine-pouring.

 

He then took off his peaked cap and threw it onto his desk before throwing himself into the leather chair. He picked an expensive Bhali cigar out of a case on the desk, and lit it using Zippo lighter, which was also then thrown down, but this item bounced off the leather and landed on the floor.

 

The other soldier, who wore the insignia of a sergeant in the Imperial Guard, stooped to pick up the lighter and placed it back on the desk.

 

?He rejected the bribe, then?? asked the blonde sergeant.

 

The colonel shot him a dark glance. ?Of course he bloody did. Where are all the crooked coppers when you need them?? He blew a plume of thick cigar smoke at the ceiling.

 

?Well, sir, you?d be pleased to know that his sergeant accepted it.?

 

Kontarian did indeed look pleased. He took his feet off his antique desk and resumed a proper sitting position. ?That is excellent news, sergeant. Have a glass of wine; it?s a good vintage from my family?s vineyards near Petrium. At least that reduces the chances of having the III or the Imperial Household Guards stomping about here, at least until after our plans come into fruition.?

 

?And how are they progressing, sir??

 

?What, the plans? Very well. Now that damned competent Peters is out of the way, it does mean we can move stuff around the base much more easily, with out risking him seeing it and reporting it. Always following proper procedure, he was.? The colonel laughed. ?Well, look where that got him. A nice cold drawer in the morgue.? Kontarian straightened his face. ?But seriously, it also gives us an excuse to begin moving out. I?ve told four of the men to request leave due to ?emotional reasons?, and then move out to my family?s town house in Kontos. Alexides and Smith are to start on the copying. I trust you?ve got in touch with your contacts in Laodicum??

 

The sergeant nodded.

 

?But can we fully trust them?" ask Kontarian. "I know you did an opium-burning tour up there, but those Laodiceans can?t be trusted as far as you can throw them.?

 

?True, but I built up a few contacts during the tour. There?s a lot of money to be made from extortion from the farmers, if you demand they give you a cut of their money if you don?t burn their crop. Made a fair few bob that way??

 

The colonel coughed to remind his subordinate of the task at hand. ?Your contacts??

 

?Trustworthy. Or, at least, as trustworthy as they can be in this sort of field.?

 

Kontarian nodded. It was to be expected. The contacts he himself had, mainly foreigners with similarly shifty pasts, weren?t, by and large, to be trusted either. He stubbed out the remains of his cigar, got up from his chair and put the wine glass back on the sideboard. ?It?s time we got this operation on the move. The quicker we can get those copies made, the quicker we can absent ourselves from this mess.? He picked up his cap, and walked out into the corridor.


At the police station?

 

?Suicide! You cannot be serious!?? Inspector Ioannes exploded at his sergeant, who was becoming equally angry.

 

?Look, Eric, who are we to judge what?s best for Tagmatium?" answered the sergeant. "That colonel probably is doing what?s best for the Greater Holy Empire. Lord only knows what the heathens and pagans of the Alliance are plotting against our thousand year old state right now.?

 

?I?ll tell you what?s best for the Greater Holy Empire. The rule of law! You cannot bend the facts like this! We?re talking about the death of a young man!?

 

The sergeant tried to calm himself down. ?Eric, sir, we should trust what the man says. He probably knows a lot more about this sort of thing that we do. We?re just a bunch of coppers, whilst this man is the head of a secret military base. We had to sign the Offical Secrets Act. Christ, sir, we shouldn?t even be talking about this that loudly, we?d probably get done for treason.?

 

Ioannes ran his hand over his eyes, also beginning to calm down. ?You?re right, Frank. You?re usually right about this sort of thing.?

 

Frank, the sergeant, nodded, and helped himself to a cup of strong, black coffee.

 

Ioannes continued. ?I don?t know how many times I?ve trusted your instinct and it?s turned out to be right. We put that bastard Marcianus into the Broadmarsh Maximum Security Prison because of you.?

 

The sergeant shuddered at the memory of Tagmatium?s most famous serial killer.

 

The inspector suddenly turned to look at Frank. ?You know what that colonel tried to do? He tried to bribe me.?

 

A jet of black coffee spurted across a desk.

 

?He what!?? spluttered Frank.

 

?I know?, answered Ioannes. ?That?s what I thought. Outrageous. Although, I suppose he had his reasons. Ok, I?m going out to smoke a pipe. Damned new law, makes life so much bloody harder.?

 

Frank watched the inspector leave the room, and realised his hand was shaking slightly.

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Several hours later?

 

The Colonel was at his desk, smoking a cigar. He had a look of slight worry on his face. The risks involved were huge, but the rewards even greater. If he was caught by Imperial forces, Kontarian knew that, even though the death penalty in Tagmatium had been officially abandoned sixty years ago, the country had a habit of giving traitors a wall to lean against, and a volley of gun fire to send them into the hereafter. The look of worry evaporated as the sergeant entered. It didn?t do to show your concerns in front of the rank and file.

 

?Well?? questioned the Colonel.

 

?It?s done, sir?, the sergeant answered. Unlike his commanding officer, he couldn?t keep his face calm. ?The files and the like have been copied, and Corporal Paulson has planted the charges. They?ve been set for 22:00.?

 

Kontarian nodded. ?I?ve made contact with my contacts. I?ve also made sure our lot is making up the perimeter guard tonight. Once Paulson?s charges go off in the fuel tanks, we?re gone. You may go, sergeant. Just make sure everyone knows what?s going on.?


Inspector Ioannes looked at his watch. Ten minutes to nine. He looked over to Frank, who was hadn?t met his eye for the last few hours. Ioannes was shocked by this, as they?d been colleagues for 15 years, if not longer. Frank, sensing someone staring at him, looked up at Ioannes but again stopped short of meeting his gaze.

 

?Look, Eric, if the suicide of the guardsman is so much of a concern, we can go back to the base.?

 

The inspector frowned. ?How so??

 

?The warrant we got doesn?t run out until ten thirty. If we go now, we can make it for about ten o?clock. If we can avoid the guards, there must be something in the base that will prove it.?

 

Frank didn?t mention whether he meant prove the suicide wrong or right, but Ioannes let it slip by. He stood up and put on his jacket, pipe clenched between his teeth.

 

?Ok, then, Frank. We?d better get going to get to the base by ten-thirty.?

 

Both men picked up their coats and quickly left the room, heading down through the building for the car park.


Kontarian looked at his watch. It was ticking onto 22:00 now. He looked up at the sergeant, catching the man?s nervous glance, and back down at his watch. 22:00 ticked by, onto 22:01. The Colonel shook his watch, trying to make the thing show the correct time.

 

?Bloody hell, why hasn?t tha-?

 

The explosives set by Paulson detonated a minute later than planned, but the effect was still the same. A huge fireball blossomed into the sky as the large fuel tanks in the base blew apart. The intensity of the explosion turned dusk into midday in the base, and the blast could be heard for hundreds of miles around. Several flash back explosions destroyed other parts of the base, reducing them to rubble.

 

It was also the signal for Kontarian and those soldiers who he had corrupted to clear out of the base, using the explosions to cover their tracks. There would be many casualties amongst the soldiers on the base, who would notice a few more?


The police car pulled up just as the explosives planted by the renegades blew up. Both men, Inspector Ioannes and the detective sergeant scrambled out of the car and got to their feet, watching burning debris float down from the sky. The sergeant fumbled inside of his jacket, and took out his personal radio.

 

?This is Detective Sergeant Frank Attalus, requesting back-up and some fire-engines. There?s been an explosion at the Military Fuel Depot. Yeah, that?s what you must have heard. Just get them over here as quickly as possible. Ambulances as well.?

 

Whilst the sergeant was talking on his radio, Ioannes walked closer to the perimeter fence. As he looked through, he could see figures running about. From the look of it, they weren?t trying to help the injured, just get away as quickly as possible.

 

Ioannes called over the sergeant. Both men peered through the fence at the soldiers. Through the half-light caused by the burning fuel and buildings, they could see the faces of the men beyond.

 

?Christ, it?s that Colonel,? The sergeant said.

 

?I knew that bastard was up to something dodgy all along,? growled Ioannes. ?People don?t shoot themselves three times in the chest.?


The burning rubble cast an eerie light in the compound, made all the more so by the whimpering of the injured. Kontarian didn?t care. They were just distractions to the main part of the plan now. Getting the hell out of there before anyone turned up to investigate what had caused such a large explosion in the military installation. He found his sergeant, who was looking a bit grubby and singed by the fires.

 

?Everyone uninjured!? the Colonel yelled at the sergeant, who nodded in reply. ?Good. We can get moving out. Everyone know what to do??

 

The sergeant nodded again. He looked slightly shocked by the force of the explosion and its aftermath. Kontarian rolled his eyes, and turned to look out towards Boreapolis, the nearest city. Surely they would have heard the explosion, and would already be sending the emergency services to help out? Movement by the perimeter fence caught his eye. He narrowed his eyes against the poor light and clouds of smoke.

 

?It?s that damned copper!? he screamed, turning around and snatching the assault rifle off his sergeant, who didn?t have time to protest. The Colonel squinted down the sights of the gun and squeezed the trigger, firing off several bursts of heavy rounds. Kontarian grinned and handed back the rifle to his shocked sergeant. ?That got the bastard.?


Several hours later, in the Ministry of War part of the Imperial Palace Complex

The Minister of War sat at his desk, mulling over the reports of an explosion in the Boreapolis Military Fuel Depot. The depot itself was just a front for the fact that it was where the Tagmatine part of the joint tank development with Adaptus was taking place.

 

?It could just have been some idiot tripping and firing a rifle by accident, or some tit having a sneaky cigarette where he shouldn?t have been,? one of his aides tried to reassure him.?

 

The Minister of War nodded. He hated late nights like this, especially as they were always followed by early mornings. He would rather have been at his home on the outskirts of Tagmatica, with his wife.

 

?We?d agreed that we would contact Adaptus if anything like this happened, though? he said, running a hand over his face, and reaching for a late-night cup of black coffee. He took a sip, wincing as did so. He hated coffee, but sometimes the caffeine value was needed. ?I want one of you to get in touch with Adaptus as soon as you can, wake those sods up.?

 

An aide rushed out of the room, to make the necessary message.

 

The minister looked over at the other aide who had just spoken. ?I don?t doubt that it?s nothing to be concerned, but when we?re dealing with the place where that tank is being made, we?d better make sure that the stuff is all there. There are numerous countries who?d be itching to take a look at our designs.?

 

The aide shrugged. ?Shall I alert the Triple I as well??

 

?What? Three? Yep, those suspicious bastards will want to know. You may as well get a message to the Domestic of the Imperial Household Guards, as it?s a military matter. Still, it could all be for nothing. Hopefully, away. I want a nice quiet few weeks.?

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2:33 in the morning and a phone begins to ring.

 

"Ugh". Gordon Alexi woke to the sound of the ringing telephone. He lay in bed with his wife.

 

"Leave it Gordon." His wife said, still with her eyes closed, and ending with a large yawn.

 

"I can't it could be the ministry."

 

"Oh Gordon."

 

Gordon then picked up the phone. He say propped up against the head board of his bed, listening to what the person on the other side of the phone had to say.

 

"Oh bollocks. Get Wilson in my office as soon as. I'll be right down."

 

Gordon then pelted out of bed, and grabbed his shirt. When his wife looked up.

 

"What?s wrong?"

 

"Something big has happened; I need to go sort it out. I hope Julia had been informed."

 

Gordon then grabbed his shoes and made for the front door.

 

**********

 

Half an hour later, in Gordon?s office at the Ministry of Defence building. Many important people now were present, including several Generals, from the armed forces, and CI6, Julia Coleman, and Andrew Wilson, the head of Vickers.

 

"Gordon, we what the hell is going on." Julia demanded.

 

"Well I have some very bad news. The facility where the new tank that we are co-developing with Tagmatium is held at current has been breached. A large explosion was heard several hours ago, and that?s all I know so far. The Tagmantines has assured us that this is all they know too."

 

"Well the sh*t's hit the fan now."

 

"Wilson, quiet!" Julia snapped. "Gordon, have you any ideas what we can do?"

 

"Well, the reason I have gathered several of the people behind us is my solution."

 

"Ah, I see.? Julia replied with slight smile, and calming voice.

 

"Ok, K and M, this is top priority, do you understand."

 

Two gentlemen dressed well in fine suits nodded.

 

"Good, it's time you guys had a proper job, instead of the missions around the alliance members. I want your best men on the job, as external security it's your job, to get into Tagmatium, and do the ground work and I want results.

 

"Sir, we always have results." One of the men commented.

 

Gordon then looked toward several military men, and another man well dressed in a suit.

 

"And your job as CI5 and the military is to secure this country; I want all our facilities for the development locked down, and under strict surveillance."

 

All four of the men replied at once.? Yes sir."

 

Julia then walked behind Gordon as he sat in his chair, and looked at the rest of the people in the room.

 

"If anything happens here it will be classed at terrorism, so I want SAR counter terror units on heightened standby by until further notice."

 

The whole room replied. "Yes Mo'om."

 

"Good, I?m happy with your course of action Gordon, nothing of this shall go public remember, and send a message to Tagmatium, notifying them of our involvement."

 

"No Problem Julia."

 

"Ok, Gordon, it's in your hands now, I don?t want to here another word of it unless it's important."

 

"Ok Julia."

 

"Good, now, let?s get to work people, what are you waiting for, a f*cking bus? GO!"

 

The inhabitants of the room then jumped and scurried off to work, and Julia headed home for bed.

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The Minister of War?s prediction of an early morning was proved correct. Business in the Ministry had begun again at around four o?clock, as reports from the various emergency teams at the scene of the explosion at the Military Fuel Depot began to come in.

 

The Minister of War sat at his desk, thumbing through the reports. It did not look good. Apparently, the number of soldiers usually stationed at the base did not match the numbers of survivors of the explosion or those dead or injured. This, he thought, could only mean those who didn?t appear in the casualty figures or the survivor list had done a runner.

 

The door to the office opened, and an aide entered. The man was holding the pathologist?s report from the rapid autopsy done on the dead policeman.

 

?Good news?? asked the minister. The man shook his head. ?sh*t. Ok, what is it, then??

 

The aide passed him the report, allowing the Minister to flick through it as he spoke.

 

?Well, sir, the crux of the matter is what he was shot by.? As the man said that, the Minister looked straight at him. He continued. ?It was a .280, exactly matching the ones fired by our rifles.?

 

The Minister laid back in his chair, and closed his eyes. ?If it were a .223 or even a 9mm, that would make life much easier. More difficult to sort out, but at least that wouldn?t point to traitors. You may go.?

 

The aide filed out, holding open the door for another man. He handed the Minister a cup of coffee, then left the room as well.

 

?So, any news of my brother?? asked the Minister of a third man.

 

?No, sir. He doesn?t appear in the survivors list, or the casualty one.?

 

The Minister sighed. ?Yet another piece of good news, then.?

 

?He could still be buried under rubble, or the traitors could be holding him hostage.? The man tried to reassure the Minister.

 

?Nope?, the Minister shook his head. ?That bastard?s going to be leading them. It?s exactly the sort of thing he would do?, he took a swig of coffee. ?You haven?t met my brother, well half-brother, have you??

 

The secretary shook his head.

 

The Minister shrugged, and continued. ?He always was my father?s favourite. This was why my father left him more or less everything in his will. Alexander then contrived to piss or gamble away the vast majority of that when the inheritance came. He?d have sold the family home to pay his debts, had I not threatened to have some guardsmen sent round to shoot him if he did.?

The secretary looked shocked. The Minister gave him an ironic smile.

 

?I suggested his position as commander of that Military Fuel Depot, as I thought it was far away enough from any potential sources of trouble. When it was chosen as a good place to develop the tank, I thought nothing of it. Obviously, I was wrong.?

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T?Rothric lent back on his chair as he read the report, when he was finished he looked up at the Baron T?ka, who was already onto his second glass of wine.

 

?Are you sure of this? It could be a trap!?

 

?Yes I?m sure, it seems that the Tagamatine military is experiencing loyalty problems?again.? He shook his head, ?Damned dishonourable childskins.?

 

?Quite?but now you?re proposing sending in our own childskins (OOC: there are two minority groups in Akiiryu that do not tattoo, then men and women of these groups make up the bulk of the RAISS. These men and women are ethnically the same as all other Akiiryan?s, and theirm culture is pretty much similar ? bar the tattooing) to make contact with this Colonel Kontarian?wait, isn?t he the brother of the Tagamatine Minister of War??

 

?Yes.?

 

?Ha! Heraclius would feel quite at home in Tagamatium even today?traitors everywhere! So then, what it the proposal T?Ka? I?m meeting with T?Nith in an hour and if he agrees then surely the prince will also.?

 

?Simple,? T?Ka took another sip from his rapidly emptying wine glass, ?send in some RAISS operatives and find out what the good Colonel has to offer and what he wants for it.?

 

?Can we extract him??

 

?That maybe more difficult. We could, of course, get him to request asylum or transport him to Akiiryu via a diplomatic ?bag?. However, such actions may cause us more trouble than we need.?

 

?True. Okay, I?ll talk to T?Nith and then, if he agrees, organise a meeting with the prince.?

 

T?Ka smiled.

 

?That is all I ask.?

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It was another very busy day at the Ministry of War section of the Imperial Palace complex. Activity had been going on almost non-stop since the beginning off this incident, with orders coming out of the Ministry, putting in road blocks on all of the major and minor roads out of Boreapolis. This was a large operation, covering many hundreds of roads and stretching the Ministry?s ability to spin a story to the limit. The official line was that a group of ex-Conservative League of Tagmatium soldiers had blown up the Fuel Depot, and now the People?s Guard had set up numerous checkpoints to halt their movement about the countryside.

 

Minister Honorius Kontarian knew that this story was close to the truth, but very far away at the same time. More reports from investigators, who had signed the Official Secrets Act, to make sure they never spoke of this again, had shown more terrible truths. It seemed that the safe where the plans had been tampered with at some point, which, in turn, pointed to the fact that his brother had made off with at least some copies of the plans for the ?X-90? joint-development tank. Which made it even more important to capture the renegade Imperial Guardsmen.

 

The Minister fumbled with a cigarette lighter, cursing the fact the stress of this event had driven him back to smoking tobacco, something he had even up nearly a year ago. He drew on the cigarette in his right hand, and blew a stream of blue smoke at the ceiling.

 

?Do go on, general?, he said to the man sitting opposite him across the desk. That man was Darius Guildford, previously brigadier of the Imperial Guard Research Brigade, but now lieutenant general of the Imperial Guard Research Division. The joint-development tank programme had allowed the IGRB to expand. Guildford was the commanding officer of Colonel Kontarian.

 

?Well, sir, it does indeed look like the plans have been tampered with. But, it could be any number of things, from the concussive force of the fuel tank blowing up; to a forgetful technician replacing a paper he forgot to return on time.?

 

The Minister sighed. ?But we must concentrate on the worst case scenario, general. It is the most likely explanation, given all of the events. The detonation of the fuel tanks, the shooting of Guardsman Peterson and Detective Sergeant Attalus, the disappearance of my brother and the guardsmen? Plus, the Adaptons will want to know.?

 

Guildford nodded. ?Ok, sir. I trust you?ve alerted the Imperial Household Guards and III??

 

?Yep, although I loathe to do it, as I?d rather the Holy Emperor nor that slimy bastard Tonaras found out. But III are useful, as it means that we have the Ministry of the Interior?s finest out searching for that brother of mine??

 

The general shifted in his chair. The Internal Intelligence Inspectorate was Tagmatiun?s intelligence agency/secret police. They weren?t as omnipotent or as ruthless as other examples of such a force in history or in the region at the moment, but they could be effective from time to time, as they did have contacts in most areas of Tagmatine life.

 

OOC: Bump. Come on, the rest of those interested! tongue.gif

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The Ide Jiman TZDS-9 office, the Ide Jiman Embassy Complex, Nimarci...

 

"Li,"

 

"What is it?"

 

"Check this out, Serekan sent it, they said it came earlier today, regarding that joint LT tank project"

 

"Well open it then!" Agent Li trundled across the floor on a swivel chair to the computer screen. "Damn" he muttered under his breath, reading the message.

 

"What is it?" A third agent, up until now who had been fiddling with his revolver shuffled across the room.

 

"Looks like the Akiiryans got one too, says so on the sender list"

 

"Ok, I'll contact them..."

 

Encoded Contact:

To: The RAISS

From: TZDS-9 Central Office, Serekan

 

Are we right in assuming that you too received information regarding a stolen prototype of the new LT tank? The Ide Jiman president wishes to get an inspection of this tank, however Ide Jiman operatives would stick out like a sore thumb in Tagmatium. We were thinking that perhaps we could aid your 'childskin' agents, by means of technical, and financial support. Were we to place a share of the bid, we would both pay a certain amount, and be able to inspect the vehicle. What are your thoughts?

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The plan had, so far, gone extraordinarily well. The trip across Borea and the Borean Channel to Kontos had gone off without the slightest mistake or blooper, and now the renegade unit of Imperial Guardsmen were in the Kontarian town house in the old part of the city.

 

Colonel Kontarian himself was stood on the balcony on the east side of the house, which looked out across the small old town harbour. He was enjoying a cigar and watching the sunset across the channel. He had sent his men on a shopping trip earlier that day, as wearing military uniforms about the place really wouldn?t do. He himself was wearing a very expensive suit from southern Europa, looking the part of the aristocratic young man.

 

The door leading onto the balcony opened and closed behind him, and the sergeant tapped Kontarian on the shoulder.

 

?Yes?? The Colonel asked, not even looking around.

 

?Sir, I think we may have some interest in the tank. Doesn?t say who from, though.?

 

?Good. I?d be most disappointed if it did. It would mean that someone was lacking in the chain. Which wouldn?t do.? Kontarian tapped off the ash from the tip of his cigar. ?Well, sergeant, I think it?s time me, you and a few of the others began working out which bits we flog to whom.?

 

The sergeant looked confused. ?Why not the whole thing, sir??

 

Kontarian cocked his head to one side. ?Sergeant, you can be surprisingly dense on occasions. The reason for this is basically so that we can wring as much money out of the buggers as possible. Why flog it all one person, when the more parts sold to different nations would get a higher price? If any nation wanted the whole thing, it would induce a bit of a bidding war, therefore raising prices even more. Get the stuff out, and pour me a brandy, please. There?s a good year lurking in the wine cellar somewhere.?

 

The sergeant turned away and walked back in doors, whilst the Colonel turned again to look out across the city again. He did like the old city part of Kontos, with its medieval and earlier houses, shops and churches. The ancient city walls dominated the view across the bay, whilst to the north and south the factory complexes and blocks of flats that made up the rest of the rose into the sky. The town house itself was an ancient building, almost a palace, which had rested in Kontarian family hands since the founding of Tagmatium in the 800?s. He followed his sergeant back into the house.

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Gordon was sitting in his office, with many papers in front of him, all on the subject of the missing tank plans. He was in a sort of trance, not stirring, with his head fixated on the documents in front of him, reading in silence. After a period of continues reading he stood up, and walked over toward a drinks cabinet next to his desk. All of the officials in Adaptus have a drink cabinet in there offices; it was as though it was compulsory. He opened the cabinet, which displayed bottles of wine, and spirits from across Europa. He took out a half full bottle of strong vodka, and poured himself a double in a tumbler glass.

 

As he closed the cabinet, the door being him opened, and in walked a CI6 official. Gordon turned his head at the official.

 

"Which one are you then? A, B, C or D? Bloody confusing."

 

"I'm F Sir."

 

"Ah, F, fine, do you guys have any info at all yet?"

 

"Well, Sir." F sat down on a large leather sofa, which faced Gordon?s desk, following Gordon, as he slumped into his chair behind his desk, as he gestured for F to sit down. "Our agents, working in Alliance countries have stumbled upon roomers, and some happening. Our Agents say that, mysterious documents have landed on the desks of several high ranking military officials in several Alliance states. But what we don?t know is weather it is the plans, or weather it is something just involving the plans. But we know for sure, that some documents concerning the disappearance, or where about of 'X-90' have fallen in the hands of several Alliance members."

 

"I see. So it seems the Alliance will know about the disappearance of 'X-90', well lets hope they too keep it to themselves, and don?t announce it."

 

"Yes sir, I?ll get more agents in to take some closer looks. But concerning agents in Tagmatium, nothing seems to have come up yet sir."

 

"Ok, oh and let the Tagmatines know that it is possible at current that the Alliance may know about the disappearance of 'X-90'. Just to warn them."

 

"Yes Sir."

 

F the made his way for the door. As he did, Gordon spun round in his chair, and looked out over the city of Losdow. He tilted his head back, and downed his double vodka. He then turned, and continued reading his papers.

 

______________________________

 

In a dim lit attic room, of an old run down shop in the centre of Newcastle, several men sat and we meeting about something.

 

"Comrade Yeltsin. Rumour has it that a reneged Colonel for Tagmatium has ran off with plans for the new tank with the Adaptons, and Tagmatines are currently developing, and that he is willing to sell it off."

 

Yeltsin looked at his officer, the man which had just spoken. Yeltsin was the commander of the CRA. He was a hardened terrorist, seeing through both CLF crisis, and fought against Adaptons Special forces, when they assaulted Akov's Outpost.

 

"What are you proposing? We buy the tank? Are you stupid, we have no where to produce such a vehicle, and it would cost far too much."

 

"Yes, but if we purchase some of these plans, maybe we could use the plans to hold the Adaptons ransom, or threaten to sell them on to other more able groups."

 

"Hmm. Good idea. Fair enough, try and get in contact with this Colonel, and let him know we are interested.

 

"Yes comrade."

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Minister of the Interior, Gebeon Tonaras slid into the chair opposite the Minister of War. Tonaras was widely suspected to be corrupt and the architect behind Tagmatine involvement in the recent Deltannian conflict, but he was liked by a surprisingly wide proportion of the Tagmatine people. He was also in control of the III. Tonaras drew his chair closer to the desk and looked at

 

?So, Honorius? I?ve heard your brother has run off with some rather important pieces of paper.?

 

The Minister of War put on a fake smile. ?Well, there?s no point beating about the bush, is there??

 

Tonaras returned the smile. ?Indeed not. I?ve got some bad news. The III tracked him to Theodosiopolis, but then lost him.?

 

?Lost him!?? Kontarian almost screamed. ?How the f- How could you loose him??

 

The Interior Minister lent back in his chair. ?Surprisingly easily, in fact. Have you ever visited Theodosiopolis? Very busy place, one of the main ferry ports between here and Petrium. At times it?s like looking for a needle in a haystack. At other times, it?s like looking for a hay needle in a haystack. Plus, Petrium is the busiest port in the Greater Holy Empire, a nightmare to track anyone through.? He watched as the War Minister rubbed his eyes with a hand. ?But, of course, your brother is clever enough not to have travelled to Petrium. He probably hopped along the coast and found a smaller port he thought we weren?t watching.?

 

The Minister of War grabbed onto the word ?thought? like a drowning man grabs onto a passing log. ?Thought? You mean your men saw him??

 

?Nope,? Tonaras shook his head. ?Colonel Alexander thought correctly. The III doesn?t have enough men to watch every port. Neither do the police and both of those organisations have other jobs to do.?

 

?Sh*t. So do you not have any idea where he is?? Kontarian could feel the need for a strong drink coming on...

 

?No, we do not, Honorius. We, that is, me and my senior Ministry staff, don?t know where he is at the moment. I?ve put as many as of the III as possible, but that those bastards from the True Church, as well as those damned opium farmers, have put a strain on the III?s resources. He will reveal his location soon enough, but it will be a case of waiting until he does so.?

 

Kontarian slid back in his chair. This wasn?t going well at all?

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  • 2 weeks later...

?Colonel, it looks like we?ve got some attention for the tanks plans,? said an Imperial Guard corporal who was looking at a laptop screen.

 

Kontarian looked up from the newspaper he had spread before him on the kitchen table. ?Really? Excellent. I was hoping for some more attention by now, but, oh well. Beggars, especially those on the run from the law, really cannot be choosers.?

 

The Colonel turned from the kitchen table, and picked up a cup of tea from the work surface. The group of renegade Imperial Guardsmen were still using the Kontarian family townhouse in the Old City part of Kontos, but, as they all knew, sooner or later they would have to move on to pastures new and less likely to be surrounded by informers and spies. From Kontos, it would be a move west into the foothills of the Cotswalan mountain range.

 

?What were you looking at in the paper, sir?? asked the corporal.

 

?Just the latest headlines,? he said, taking a sip of tea and coming to look over the shoulder of the NCO. ?To see if the Imperial Authorities are mentioning anything that could equate as us.?

 

The NCO looked a concerned. ?Is there, sir??

 

?No. Not a sausage. Whether this could be taken as a communications blackout in the interests of security, or the fact that they buggered up and lost us, I?m not so sure. However, the thing in southern Europa is undoubtedly provided my brother with a lot of amusement, and I suspect the III is being side-tracked by the heathens from this True Church which seems to be springing up in the north like mushrooms on a dung heap.?

 

Nodding, the corporal turned back to the computer screen. ?This is the message we received, sir, is obviously Adapton in origin. The spelling and grammar betray this.?

 

?Yes, Ok. So, from whom and how much??

 

?I think it?s from some off-shoot group from the Communist Liberation Front. They were the ones who attempted to stage a coup in Adaptus late last year, if you remember, sir. Irritatingly, they haven?t actually stated how much they wish to pay.?

 

Scratching his chin thoughtfully, the Colonel turned away from the corporal and looked out of a window, lost in thought for a moment. He turned back to the guardsman after a few moments? thought.

 

?Ok, then. Send them a picture of the turret. I want all measurements obscured, though. Only when they forward some money will they get anything that is actually useful to them. After all, we?re not all bloody Communists. Some people have to earn money to get things.? He laughed at this poor joke.

 

OOC: Come on, people! BUMP!

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

The small business jet arrived in Theodosiopolis shortly after noon. The 13 passengers exited the plane and walked over to customs. He was second in line. As soon as the first was finished changing currency and walked away, the stepped forward.

 

"Passport, please." The customs lady asked. He handed her the fake passort, which had been expertly forged. She looked it over, everything seemd in order. "Welcome to Tagmatium, Mr. Clark." She said. He nodded in agreement. "Would you like to exchange your Denarii?"

 

"Yes." He said. His accent was perfect. Even if she hadn't seen his passport, she would have assumed he was from Miiros just by hearing his voice. He handed her a card which she slid through a machine and credited him $10,000 in Tagmatine currency. He nodded again and turned to the turn-table. After a short minute of standing there, his baggage came down. 'Rather quick' he thoguht, 'especially in this under-developed hell-hole.'

 

He picked up his luggage and headed outside, hailed a taxi and left. "Hyperion Hotel, please" The driver shook his head a little, then drove off in the direction of the hotel. The drive was about 20 minutes long. Once there he handed the driver the appropriate amount of cash and got out.

 

Hyperion was a fancy hotel chain, following that stereotype was a bellman rushing over to help Mr. Clark with his luggage. "No thanks, I got it." He said, again with his accent. He headed inside and walked over to the reception desk.

 

"Can I help you?" She asked.

 

"I believe I have a reservation, room 303." She pressed a few buttons on the keyboard and looked at him. "Mr. Clark?" She asked. "Right." She handed him a card-key to the room. "Enojy your stay." "Thank you." He replied.

 

He entered the elevator and pressed (3). Silver plated machine kicked into motion and carrier him upstairs. The doors opened 38 seconds later. He made sure to count, just in case he ever had to flee he would know how long the elevator would take. He exited and looked dow the hall. Right in front of him was #303 emblazoned in gold characters on the door. He took the key-card out and slid it through the reading machine and the light turned green. He opene the door and walked inside...

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Once he settled in, he took out his laptop and plugged it into the wall. The battery was low, but as long at is worked. He typed in the user name, and password, and logged into the phantom hard-drive. His messanger had new mail. A double click on the icon and it asked him for a password. He pressed his right thumb firmly on the mouse pad and the file opened.

 

"Your first objective is to find your contact. He will be on the roof of your hotel at 0100 this morning. Find him, he will inform you of what you need to know."

 

Clark closed the laptop and it turned off. No one else would be able to find the phantom hard-drive, not without his knowledge and thumbprint. 'I had better get some sleep, I will need the rest for tonight.'

 

He set the alarm for midnight. He didn't want to call room service, that might arouse suspicion. Midnight should give him enough time to get into his gear before he had to meet the contact.

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?Good morning, sergeant. Today?s the say we move out.?

 

Kontarian was standing in the kitchen, which had become the centre of activity for the renegade Guardsmen. He was dressed, again, in an expensive suit and was cradling a cup of tea in his hands. The light outside was dim, as it was still very early in the morning. However, the Guardsmen had been up most of the night packing gear in preparation for their move into the Cotswalan Mountains, just west of the city of Kontos.

 

?Yes, sir. Sir, may I recommend that we stop using our military ranks to address each other??

 

The Colonel considered this. ?Yes, I should think it best. Alexander?s my name. Just Alexander. I can?t abide being called ?Alex? or,? he shuddered, ??Al?. Far too lower class and common.?

 

The blond sergeant, who was from a lower class family, let that last comment slide. ?Commodus, Alexander.?

 

?Pardon??

 

?My real name, sir. Commodus Nolan.?

 

?Ah, yes. Just like our Imperial sovereign.? The Colonel grinned. ?Excellent. Well, Commodus, we must rouse the troops and get this show on the road, as it were.?

 

?We?re not going to go altogether, are we, sir??

 

Kontarian shook his head. ?I?ve sent Alexides and Smith on ahead, to find some property to rent. Nothing too small, I said. We have to fit all of us there, and I can?t stand something which is too? rustic. Some spacious country villa of some sort. Isolated, of course.?

 

He walked out of the kitchen and into one of the downstairs rooms, and stopped in front of one of the many portraits of his ancestors, all members of the ancient and glorious Kontarian family and players in the various stages of Tagmatine politics. The sergeant had followed him into the next room.

 

?Which,? Kontarian said, turning to the sergeant, ?brings me onto the next stage of the plan. It had occurred to me that we should burn down this old place to remove the evidence of our stay. However, I loathe to do such a thing to my family home. Also, it would draw some unwanted attention to our habitation. I?m very much surprised that my brother hasn?t considered that we were here, although I suspect that the incidents in Tarragat and Tinian, as well as those wretched Confederates, have provided him with something of a distraction.? He clapped his hands together. ?Well, it is time we vacated the property, I think. Traffic is getting busy, and I?d hate to get caught up in some road works.?

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Yeltsin looked at the turret plans that had been sent to him. He studied them with presision. His faced was amazed. He had worked with Vickers Weapon Systems in the early 80's, and the plans were very similar to an old tank which they tested but came out to be to good for the age. "Very advanced". He muttered. He had worked in the tank development department of Vickers, Bull-Works.

 

"Comrad, these plans, these are our ticket to wining the war in the phalklands, and on the mainland too." Said an officer to Yeltsin.

 

He continued studing the plans. He though to himself. These armaments, they are unlike any others i've seen. He then relised his subordinates were speakin to him. "Oh yes, these could help us in that."

 

"Should I inform the troops about this mavilous victory?"

 

"Em, no. No dout CI5 will be on the look out for roumers."

 

"Ok comrad.

 

"Let the Tagmantine military man know we're intrested in this."

 

"Yes comrad. How much of the budget can go to it?"

 

"Em...say we'll pay up to 30 grand for each set of documents."

 

"Aye Yeltsin."

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Clark awoke to the sound of an alarm-clock. The electronic buzzing sound was annoying, all the better reason to get up and turn it off. He sat up and looked at the time, '12:00' it read. He pressed the button and the sound ended.

 

He stood up and opened the luggage case, inside was a few days worth of clothes, wihch he removed. He slid his fingers under the false bottom and took it out, underneath was his gear...

 

-------------------------------------------------------

 

user posted image

 

A janitor was on the roof. Leaning over the waist-high wall and watching the traffic go by. He was smoking a cigarette. He felt an arm wrap around his neck, and a hand on his head.

 

"It's a bright, cold day in April." The janitor said.

 

Clark released him, he stepped forward and turned around. "That kinda hurt" He admitted. "No doubt you're the SS guy. You'll be looking for a Colonel Kontarian in the east. He's fleeing from the Tagmatine government as they have branded him a traitor."

 

"Why?"

 

"He has the plans and schematics for an Adapton tank, TC wants to know what they've been cooking. Your job will be to find him, once he's alone, squeeze him and get him to talk. Take this." The contact handed him a datastick. "That has the Colonel's current location. You may be able to sneak into a truck before they leave, that'll give you a free-ride to where they are running to. Be careful."

 

"I already have a mother."

 

"Right. There's a van in the alley out back that will take you to the town house."

 

Clark turned and headed for the fire escape. He jumped the little wall and landed on the first metal deck of the external stariway. He descended the stairs with rgeat speed, making little noise as he went. When he reached the ground he saw a white van parked 20 feet away in the alley. It was running, sitting idle though.

 

He approached it and got in the back. It sped off as soon as he closed the door. He saw an OICW+scilencer, an OCN, fiber-optic camera, and other tools he could use to move unseen. In his profession, invisibility was his best weapon.

 

OOC- Not a great post, but... Tag, I hope he can arrive before they leave the house.

Edited by The Aristocratic Confederation (see edit history)
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OOC, @Aristo: You could have your guy get into the house at the same moment and snaffle some things which point towards the mountain range he?s in, but as only the two soldiers who the Colonel sent to rent the property know where it is and not even the Colonel, you?d be on the same footing as everyone involved. Bit of a real SplinterCell moment, although no fatalities, please.


All that could be heard in the dawn was the sound of boots echoing along the driveway up to the Kontarian townhouse. Inspector Reed of the Internal Intelligence Inspectorate, along with his colleague, Inspector Cooper, were walking up towards the front door of the house. Behind them at the bottom of the driveway were several Armed Response Units (ARUs) from the local Police force. III members, although trained in the use of many firearms, were only ever issued with their Pugio semi-automatic pistols/submachine guns. It was all part of the idea to not allow the secret police to get too powerful.

 

The walk up the drive was nerve-racking. Reed imagined machine guns and assault rifles poking from every orifice of the building and opening fire every step of the way. The ARUs had comparable weapons to the renegade Imperial Guardsmen, as well as a couple of .50 calibres mounted on armoured vans. The Inspector had a nasty feeling that, although he and his colleague were the commanders of this mission, they were cannon fodder.

 

Both men now stood on the porch of the house, opposite the large oaken double doors. Reed turned back down the drive and signalled to the men at the bottom to follow them. He could have sworn that the sergeant in charge shook his head. He drew his pistol and cocked it, and laid his hand on one of the handles to open the door. Cooper took position, covering Reed?s entrance into the house. Reed himself drew in a deep breath, and pushed down on the handle. He fell flat on his face as the door was pulled from within. Reed found himself staring at a pair of standard-issue Tagmatine infantry boots, and rolled onto his side and pointed his pistol up.

 

?My men and I could have shot you at any time when you were walking up the driveway, Inspector. I had ordered the Police to stand down.?

 

A bear of a man offered him a hand and pulled him onto his feet, without Reed offering any assistance. He introduced himself as Captain-Major Ignatius Dernhelm of the Imperial Household Guard. The man was dressed in the same heavy armour and uniform as the two III men, although rather than totally grey, the armour itself was black and the uniform underneath was blood red. Reed could just about see over the huge man?s shoulder several other similarly dressed soldiers walking out of other rooms in the house. He brushed himself off in attempt to retain what little dignity he had left and shoved past the soldier.

 

?So, what brings the Imperial Household Guard to Kontos, Captain-Major?? The Imperial Household Guard used two ranks for its officers, the first was the rank they held within the IHHG, the second the rank showed their worth over the other units in the Tagmatine army.

 

The big soldier followed the secret policeman into the house. ?The same as you, Inspector. Our superiors finally worked out that this was where that traitor and his renegades were hiding out. Although we?re obviously too late. They?ve flown to whatever hole they?ve found next.?

 

Reed nodded. ?Have you lot checked out the house for any clues??

 

?We have,? said the Captain-Major, ?although we haven?t found anything. But you must bear in mind that my men are soldiers first and detectives tenth. We were going to wait until the Triple I arrived and let you lot do all the work.?

 

Reed mentally cursed the officer and his men. ?Thanks, Captain-Major. That?s very kind of you.? He switched on his radio, which had been turned off in order not to attract attention. Reed sighed loudly before speaking into it. ?This is Field Inspector Tagmatius Reed. The Kontarian place is empty of the renegades. I request some Investigative Inspectors to come and look over the place for evidence.?

 

The Captain-Major had walked away whilst Reed was speaking on his radio, and Reed put his two fingers up to him behind his back.

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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The Prince looked over the report once more as T'Nith, T'Ka and T'Rothric waited expectantly. Removing his glasses he looked up at the barons and spoke.

 

"Operatives from every country in the west will be looking for this Colonel Kontarian, either to buy what he has or make sure he doesn't sell it. What evidence do we have that activating some of our operatives in the GHET is worth the risk?"

 

"Colonel Kontarian was in command of a facility that was being used to develop a new armoured vehicle When the facility blew up all hell broke loose in the Tagmatine military's upper echlons. Moreover, our sources also indicate that the III has been crawling all over the remains of the facility ever since, that road blocks have been set up on all of the roads out of Boreapolis, and a large number of ports, including Petrium have been put under surveillance. The official line is that a group of ex-Conservative League of Tagmatium soldiers had blown up the facility, but that is, no doubt, a lie. Given that the Tagmatines and the Adpatans having been in a state of mad panic to build an answer to the Rhino, one can only surmise this facility was involved in the research and design for their next generation tank. If this is the case, having some information about the tank would be of great value to us."

 

"If Colonel Kontarian, does, indeed, have information about the tank."

 

There was a knock at the door, T'Rothric rose and answered it. He took a piece of paper from a young aide, read it, closed the door and spoke.

 

"It would seem he has something, or at least, is claiming to have something. We've just recieved an offer to sell information about the tank from an unknown source. I would bet that the source is the colonel."

 

"So then, it would seem T'Ka is right. The Tagmatine Military would seem to be suffering from loyalty problems again."

 

The Prince stopped and stared out the window before turnign back to the barons.

 

"Alright, activate one of our cells in Lower Jaihu and order them to try and make contact with the colonel. Stress to them two things: one, if their is any evidence whatsoever that this an III sting they are to back off immediately; and two, this is a complete deniability mission. If they're caught the government will deny any knowledge of their activities."

 

T'Ka stood up and bowed hand on heart.

 

"As you wish sire."

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OOC: Time to see CI5, in action.

 

Kazov Yakurin was in a bar in the old town of Westbough, a few miles outside of Newcastle. This was his home town. He spent every sunday afternoon in the bar with his firends and some of him family, cousins and nefues mainly. He was having a good time, sipping his Guniess, having a laugh. Life could not be better. He had just been promoted at work, he was now a head security guard at the Newcastle Athletic Football Club grounds, the CRA were winning in the Phalklands, and his wife had just became pregneant with there first child. What many people did not know about their good friend Kazov, was he was a key member of the CRA. He was Yeltsin's deputy, he was their the previous day, when the tank plans had been show to them. He his friends, he was Kazov the security guard, with the hot wife.

 

"Haha, well Kaz, good job you won the domino card, it's your round. Haha"

 

"Ah, great haha."

 

Kazov made his was to the bar, again he was happy, he had just won 75 Gold Coins on the domino cards. He shouted for the barman. " Two Guniess, a Fosters, and a John Smiths Please Tom." The barman pulled the pints, and Kazov handed over the money. As he sat waiting for his two pints of Guniess to settel, he notices two men walking toward the bar near to him. The both carried fishing rods over their shoulders, and one carried a tackle box. They must have just came the lakes. Kazov thought. The Lakes to the east were major fishing spots, and today was a perfect day for fishing.

 

The Two men, stood at the bar and ordered their drinks, next to Kazov. As they waited one of the two turned and said to Kazov in a nice friendly Adapton manner. " All right mate. Bloody good fishing today." Kazov laughed, and again in a friendly Adapton manner replied.

 

" Good, you catch many?". The man took a sip from his pint and replied

 

" Many? We got a load, Samon and small Lake Cod mainly. You should come have a look, buy some if you want." Kazov thought to himself, he had not had fish for tea in years.

 

"Ha, I will do. Come and sit with us mate."

 

The three men walked back to Kazov's table, wher Kazov placed the pints for he firends on the table. "I'm just going to nip outside to buy some fish of this lad, i'll be a few minutes." His friend nodded.

 

As the three walked outside to the fishermens van, the other fisherman said. "We've come all the way from south Adaptus on a fishing trip, we head back down to Westerhope tomorow."

 

"Nice." Kazov replied.

 

As the men walked around the corner a large white transit van was waiting. "Our catch is in the back, come on in." One fisherman said, as the other went around to the front of the van. As they opend the back door of the van, another man sat inside, as if he was watching the catch, and a large box sat toward the far side of the van. The man behind Kazov said. "The fish are on that box, take your pick." As he said his, he pushed Kazov up into the van. As he did, the door slamed shut behind him, and the man watching the box quickly draw a Brizon SMG and aimed it at Kazov, the man behind him poked a 9mm Pro 9 pistol into his back, and the van began to pull away.

 

"Welcome to CI5 interagation Kazov Yakurin!" On of the men said. A second man beat Kazov across the back og his head with the end of his weapon, and he fell to the floor of the van. "Where are the tank plans Yakurin?" One demanded, as he pushed the end of the SMG into Kazov's face.

 

"I Dont know, i'm just a CRA officer, I just get told about this stuff, I dont get a part in it." The man beat Kazov again. "Yes you do. You know where the Tagmantine bloke is, and you know where the plans are.

 

Kazov began to breack. "I swear I Have no idea. The CRA only wanted to buy a set of the documents to blackmail the government. All we have is a set of censored documents as a sample, we dont posess an of the actual things."

 

"We already know of your plot Yakurin. But where are the plans?"

 

"I'm telling you we dont have any."

 

"Oh you in for a good interagation."

 

The van sped off down a country road toward an old cottage...

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The van sped off, Clark was now facing the townhouse from the side. He nodded his head, which caused the night vision goggles to fall effortlessly to his eyes. He clicked them on, and zoomed in on the house. He couldn't tell if there were any people inside, no one was standing in front of a window. He pressed a button and the image switched to thermal. Now he could see the heat of severl human beings inside, through the walls. There was also a guard on patrol around the house. Clark figured he rounded the house every 12 minutes.

 

Clark began stalking the guard. He was standing in the light, which meant he couldn't catch him without wasting a shocker. Clark decided to sneak into the bushes and wait. Soon, the guard finished his cigarette and began walking toward Clark's hidin place. The guard passed by Clark, and felt a strong arm wrap around his neck, and a hand pressed against his head. Clark kicked the rifle out of his hand, it was second nature to him now.

 

"Once false move and you're dead, I need information." Clark growled into the mans ear. "Stay quiet."

 

"Who are you?" The guard demanded.

 

"I'll be asking the questions. If you talk whe I'm nont asking I'll do this." Clark twisted the mans head to an angle and pushed, the guard could fell the vertebrae in his neck taking the tension.

 

"Okay"

 

"Colonel Kontarian; is he inside?"

 

"No, he left."

 

"How long ago?"

 

"This morning."

 

"Where did he go?"

 

"I don't know."

 

Clark twisted the man's neck again. "Where did he run to?"

 

"Achk-- I don't know, nobody does. He just left."

 

"Alright, what did he take with him?"

 

"Some guns, money and computer stuff."

 

"What's on the computer?" Clark squeezed a little more.

 

"ahh" The guard let out in pain. "Some tank stuff. That's all I know I swear."

 

Clark released his neck. He held the guard with a handful of his uniform, and used the other hand to beat him in the back of the neck. The guard fell to the ground unconscious. Clark threw the limp body over his should and carried it over to the garden where he hid it.

 

He then continued to the house. The window in fron of him was locked. He paused a minute, then grabbed the rain gutter and climber up to the roof. He latched his hands onto the edge of the roof and shimmied over to a window on the second floor. With one hand he slid the window open, then he swung his feet inside and his body followed. The light was off in this room, good. This was a bedroom, no body was here though. He looked out into the hallway, again no one. He crept around in the hall, inspecting each room as he advanced down the corridor.

 

No one was upstairs, and no information was seemingly here. He snuck down the stairs, slowly and quietly. At the bottom, he peered around the corners with his fiber optic camera. This was the kitchen, and tow people were at them table playing some kind of card game. He whirled around the corner, away from the other men, making sure to stay quiet. In the dining room he found himself.On the table were some papers. He sifted through them in the low light, some of them mentioned renting a house in the mountains. He folded the papers and slipped them into a pocket on this gear.

 

Footsteps were coming. This was one good thing about military men, they always stomped when they walked, making it easier to notice them before they noticed you. Clark rolled into a pantry. As the light came on in the dining room, he closed the sliding door to his closet. The Guardsman shuffled all the papers together, and put them in a neat pile. Them another entered the room.

 

"Orders from Kontarian, he wants us to burn these copies."

 

"Why?" The other asked.

 

"So that police or the III won't have a link to his new location"

 

He pulled out a lighter and started the papers on fire. The dull yellow flames spread through the papers quickly, but Clark had already taken the valuable information. Another entered the room with a small extinguisher, and doused the small fire.

 

"Good"

 

Two of the left the room and the other came to the pantry, looking for a snack. HE slid the door open and felt an elbow meet his chin with great force. He began to fall backwards, but Clark caught him and threw him in the pantry. The successive force of the elbow attack and his head meeting the wall was enough to leav e him dazed if not unconscious.

 

Clark moved into the next room and opened the locked window. He climbed through and closed it again from outside. Someone was in the garden looking at the semi-hidden body. Clark rushed over and struck him in the head before he could call for assistance. He pulled the vitctum into a head lock and used his forearm to push the mans lyranx into his spine. This uct off the oxygen and blood to his brain. Only a few seconds and the second guard fell unconscious.

 

Clark finished his job and moved toward exfiltration.

 

OOC- MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.........

..........PRESS X TO CONTINUE

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"Ill winds have reached us, from the...not-so-'Holy Empire', Chieftain."

 

"What do we have from the ORACLE?"

 

"As you well know, the Tagmatiums are, have, and always will, suffer from loyalty issues. Such is the fate of these imperialists. Problem is, this time they've got a particularly destabilizing: an advanced armored vehicle design that's gotten into the wrong hands. Needless to say, the wrong people with a weapon like this will lead to a very chaotic disruption of regional stability, like we saw with Accra Imperiale."

 

"What do we have from ORACLE on their operations?"

 

"They're willing to sell to damn near anyone, so we can rule out political motivation. Our sources in various extremist organizations across Europa have reported getting tidbits of supposedly 'exclusive' offers from the sellers. They're definelty playing the field here."

 

"Very well. The Tribunal has already voted to authorize ORACLE free roam. Field teams have already been assembled from our National Clan of the Oppressed (OOC: The orginal paramilitary of the original Confederation of the Mongol-Swedes, now considered the most elite of the Union)."

 

"For the Tribelands, Chieftain."

 

A small team, heavily experienced in blending into foreign lands and fighting the underground battles, would now be employed to track the efforts of this rogue Tagmatium commander, whose greed, they believed in their hearts, would be his undoing.

 

user posted image

 

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Kontarian rubbed his eyes with his hands. Tarragat and Tinian had definitely served as a huge distraction away from the problems brewing in Tagmatium, and by his own half-brother no less. There were three other people in the small meeting room, as the majority of the Imperial Government were working on other matters, such as the various wars in southern Europa.

 

?So they were hiding in the Kontos Town House all along?? asked the Minister of War.

 

The Minister of the Interior nodded. ?The Internal Intelligence Inspectorate had worked it out the day before, but they were sadly too late to capture your errant sibling.?

 

Honorius suspected that they had stumbled onto it by chance, the thrashings of a organisation without a clue to the whereabouts of the most wanted man in the Greater Holy Empire. The Minister of War shrugged his shoulders and turned to another man in the room.

 

?Have the Tagmatine Intelligence Network found any signs of any foreign agents at work??

 

The Head of the Tagmatine Intelligence, Nicephorus Fry, was a man who looked like he didn?t go out in the sun very often. He was a sinister-looking man, and had a reputation of being unorthodox and tenacious in his activities.

 

?We have,? said Fry in a low, rasping voice. ?At this moment, evidence points to the Communists from Adaptus wishing to get into contact with the Colonel. There are others as well, mainly from the smaller states bordering Tagmatium who wish to get an edge over the Greater Holy Empire.?

 

?Nothing else?? asked the Minister of War. ?What about Alliance members, or other, more powerful, Occidental states??

 

?Some of my people suspect that there are, or will be, some more foreign attention coming soon. We will, of course, monitor the situation completely.?

 

It was to be expected. Foreign cells could easily blend into the multi-cultural Greater Holy Empire. There were many ethnic groups inside of Tagmatium, not just the majority Tagmatine-Greek population. There were various hill-tribes from the west who looked more central-Asian, and there were many different nationalities in the ports and major cities of Tagmatium. The TIN had a hard time keeping track of foreign agents at the best of times, and an increase in activity could possibly push them to their limits. The III also had other priorities as well, such as the monitoring of the True Church of Tagmatium and their small paramilitary force. The Imperial Household Guard had more pressing concerns, primarily the protection of the Imperial Household.

 

Kontarian sighed. ?Well, have either the Imperial Household Guard or the Investigative Inspectors found anything of use, yet??

 

?My unit has found some brochures which point towards both the Cotswalan Mountains, to Paphalgonia and also towards Theis,? said the Domestic of the IHHG. Tonaras, the Interior Minister, pulled a bit of a face at that. He knew that the IHHG was just taking glory from his III. ?However, my unit commander suspects that one, or either, of these may actually be a plant, pointing to a different location to confound our attempts to ensnare this traitor. Therefore, I?ve ordered them not to make any until it is clearer where they have headed.?

 

Tonaras nodded. ?I?ve also done the same thing with the III units in the area. However, others will be kept on the look-out in the areas pointed to by the documents the III and the IHHG have found.?

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  • 4 weeks later...

The view from the house was good. From the upper windows, the whole of the valley could be seen, and the approach covered by anyone armed with a gun of some sort. And by a bizarre quirk of local geography, the house itself could not be seen from the road. The valley itself was a pleasant rolling green pasture, divided by a sunken fence from the lands of the house itself. That in itself wouldn?t provide much protection, but it could easily be modified so that it would. There were also few trees and bushes in the garden, as the last owners of the house preferred to keep the views, which were admittedly very good. Both men knew it would please the Colonel once he arrived, which would be sometime later today.

 

In the meantime, Captain Sidney Alexides fiddled with his holster. His tight jacket was forcing the barrel of his pistol into his side, and it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. To his left, sitting on the edge of the sunken fence (or ha-ha) was Ensign Telemachus Smith. Both men were entirely trusted by Alexander Kontarian, and had done all of the most important tasks so far.

 

?Christ, Telly, put out that God-damn thing,? said the Captain irritably, waving his hand to waft away the foul smoke of the Ensign?s incredibly pungent cheroot. ?I swear all they need to do is get a tracker dog and they would have found us. The damn thing would probably have keeled over at the smell, though.?

 

In answer, the Ensign slid the sunglasses down his face with one hand and put to fingers up to Alexides with the other, cheroot firmly clamped in his mouth.

 

?Do that again, and I swear I?ll break those damn things off,? Alexides answered, but making no move other than running his hands through his short brown hair. The pair of them were obviously military, but had managed to keep a very low profile. The intelligence services had lost prime agent material when they had signed up for the Imperial Guard.

 

They both lapsed into silence for a few minutes. The day itself was cold, but the sun was warming up the valley as it approached midday. There was a glinting light further down the valley, and it caught Smith?s eye. He idly watched it for a few seconds before it dawned on him.

 

?sh*t, Sid, car!? he hissed at the Captain.

 

Alexides had seen it too. He quickly and quietly ran back inside the house, and up towards a balcony on the second floor of the house. From this height, it could cover both the gates and the road further up. Leaning against balcony wall was an Adapton-made black-market M312 heavy machine gun, cunningly disguised with the insertion of an umbrella into the muzzle. The captain pulled this out and cocked the gun, training it on the road. Smith had swung himself into the ha-ha and was also covering the road with a Spathion assault rifle, which had been hidden in the bushes. They had heavy fire power for a reason. If caught they were, it would entirely compromise the rest of the traitors. They would shoot down any pursuers without a moment?s notice.

 

The car, black with blacked-out windows ? the vehicle of choice for gangsters, governments and suspicious characters everywhere ? pulled to a stop outside of the gates. One of the doors opened slowly, but Smith couldn?t see who got out of it. A pair of shoes could be observed, as well as standard-issue infantry boots, at least four people. The ensign squinted down the sights of his rifle.

 

Suddenly, a head popped over the side of the ha-ha.

 

?Good to see you?re still here, Ensign?, said the Colonel.

 

OOC: Bit of a sh*te post, but still useful to bump.

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